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Phillies sign Mariners castoff Jack Cust to minor-league deal

Aug 12, 2011, 12:46 PM EDT

Jack Cust Getty Images

Released by the Mariners last week, Jack Cust has signed a minor-league contract with the Phillies, according to Todd Zolecki of MLB.com.

If he makes it back to the majors Cust will have gained 27 games in the standings by going from Seattle to Philadelphia, but he’d be no more than a bench bat for the Phillies and the defensively challenged left-handed hitter landing in the NL is a surprise.

Cust still has very good on-base skills, drawing 44 walks in 270 plate appearances, but that comes with a low batting average, tons of strikeouts, diminished power, and poor speed from a guy whose best position is designated hitter.

With that said, his extreme patience and high on-base percentages make Cust a solid pinch-hitting option even if his 25-homer pop is gone for good and it’s a worthwhile flier for the Phillies.

  1. drmonkeyarmy - Aug 12, 2011 at 12:52 PM

    Well, considering their left handed pinch hitter can’t play the field, has to be pinch ran for when he gets on base, and has ridiculously diminished power, this appears to be an upgrade…despite the poor BA.

  2. mdpickles - Aug 12, 2011 at 1:03 PM

    I’m still holding out for a waiver-wire deal for Thome.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Aug 12, 2011 at 1:04 PM

      Not going to happen, unfortunately.

  3. missthedayswhenwedidnthavetologin - Aug 12, 2011 at 1:04 PM

    Doing the Mike Sweeney thing again I see

  4. SmackSaw - Aug 12, 2011 at 1:07 PM

    Adios Ross Gload. I’d rather have Cust. He could be Matt Stairs redux.

  5. Phillies Homer - Aug 12, 2011 at 1:07 PM

    Can’t wait to see how biceps incorporates Joe Blanton into this transaction.

  6. halladaysbiceps - Aug 12, 2011 at 1:09 PM

    Jack Cust will not sniff the Phillies playoff roster this year sans a September call up at the end. He’s nothing more than AAA depth.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Aug 12, 2011 at 1:15 PM

      He will be pinch hitting come September. Almost anybody is better than Ross Gload at this point.

      • halladaysbiceps - Aug 12, 2011 at 1:23 PM

        Yeah, Gload’s inability to run or play the field makes him useless. Hell, I’d rather have Brian Bocock on the roster more than Gload (before Bocock landed with the Pirates). And that’s not saying much. Heck, give me Pete Orr over Gload at this point.

      • seanmk - Aug 12, 2011 at 1:25 PM

        even with all the hate from drmonkeyarmy the last time he talked about gload, in this case i agree with him. Cust > gload, i’ll take the on base ablity if for no other reason it’s better then what gload is giving. it’s a matt stairs mike sweeney move all over again. i like it

      • drmonkeyarmy - Aug 12, 2011 at 1:45 PM

        I like Ross Gload and if he didn’t hurt his hip I am sure he would be contributing. In the playoffs, he will be up there with one thing in mind…to bomb one. Not that Cust is any great shakes at that anymore, it is just that Gload is not physically capable of it. I mean, have you seen his swing recently? It is all upper body…even if he catches one, it dies on the warning track.

  7. halladaysbiceps - Aug 12, 2011 at 1:12 PM

    The only thing with the Phillies this year that Jack Cust will sniff is the aroma that comes off of Joe Blanton’s bucket of chicken from KFC.

    • Phillies Homer - Aug 12, 2011 at 1:29 PM

      Not too shabby… I was expecting something along the lines of Blanton getting excited about hearing the news that the Phillies got CUSTard… but you can’t go wrong with a KFC reference when it comes to Blanton!

      • halladaysbiceps - Aug 12, 2011 at 1:40 PM

        The CUSTard reference is hilarious!!! Quick thinking, Homer. I like it.

  8. humanexcrement - Aug 12, 2011 at 1:13 PM

    The Phillies were smart enough to realize Raul Ibanez had something to offer going from Safeco Field to what is perhaps the best hitter’s park in baseball, though I think they were a little foolish for hanging onto him for so long. It’s possible Jack Cust could be a valuable bench player in those settings.

  9. Chris Fiorentino - Aug 12, 2011 at 1:27 PM

    Just in looking at his #’s, I see something pretty interesting and I am not sure how crazy it is. He has 2581 plate appearances and around 1260 Walks and Strikeouts. That means 49% of the time that he comes to the plate, the ball is not put in play fairly. Even guys like Ryan Howard and Adam Dunn are only low 40% on this stat. I don’t know what it means, but it stood out.

    • halladaysbiceps - Aug 12, 2011 at 1:29 PM

      It means the guy is very mediocre and sucks.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Aug 12, 2011 at 1:32 PM

        Not to get too stat geeky, but his career BA is .242 and his career BABIP is .337!!!!! If he makes the big league club, he may replace Ryan Howard as Mr. Lucky…except it won’t be jokingly. This guy must be walking around with a horseshoe up his ass.

      • halladaysbiceps - Aug 12, 2011 at 1:41 PM

        Mr. Lucky…..91 RBI’s. Hahahahahaahhhh!!!!

        Chris, best nickname ever!!!

      • drmonkeyarmy - Aug 12, 2011 at 1:47 PM

        Of course he sucks, the Mariners got rid of him. His sole purpose will be to stand up there and try to put it over the fence. Like I said the other day, the Phillies need some left handed thunder off the bench, particularly in the playoffs.

      • halladaysbiceps - Aug 12, 2011 at 1:57 PM

        Chris, believe it or not, I like stats very much and I value them as a point of reference. I always look at box scores and see what guys are doing. I look at batting average, homeruns, RBI’s, walks, hits, etc. I also look at pitcher’s ERAs, IP, complete games, strikeouts, etc.

        The only think I don’t like is the new age metrics that people use to justify why certain players are better than others, etc. I have been following the traditional stats for over 30 years and will continue to do so. I hate getting into debates with the metric guys because it’s pointless. You can take almost any stat to prove or disprove something. Not my style. I would rather just talk about what baseball I see and leave the metric comparison to the Fantasy League guys.

        Chris, your use of stats is logical and to the point. So, I’m good with that.

      • Reflex - Aug 12, 2011 at 8:17 PM

        Halladaybiceps – I know you have been told this before, but I will sigh and tell it to you again: Fantasy baseball uses only traditional stats. The standard 5×5 configuration is:

        Runs
        RBI’s
        Home Runs
        Batting Average
        Stolen Bases

        Wins
        Strikeouts
        Saves
        ERA
        WHIP

        Not a single modern metric among them. Fantasy baseball is the type of thing traditional stat people tend to love, it plays into how they want to view the game.

    • clydeserra - Aug 12, 2011 at 4:42 PM

      Cust HR power is to left field. He would be well served at CBB

  10. 12strikes - Aug 12, 2011 at 1:51 PM

    I smell CHAMPIONSHIP!

    • Phillies Homer - Aug 12, 2011 at 1:57 PM

      Did you smell it before… or is it because of this recent transaction that you now smell it?

      If it’s the latter… I would consult your nearest “ears, nose, and throat doctor”. I’m not sure what specialty “drmonkeyarmy” is but he might be able to help.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Aug 12, 2011 at 1:59 PM

        I am a pharmacy doctor…so ENT diagnosis is quite a bit out of my frame of knowledge.

      • halladaysbiceps - Aug 12, 2011 at 2:02 PM

        Good Doctor, maybe you could prescribe some diet medication for Fat Joe. He seems to be unable to resist the urge of a good piece of fried chicken.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Aug 12, 2011 at 2:17 PM

        Why in the hell do I get a thumbs down for that? That is a factual statement. I want answers darn it.

      • halladaysbiceps - Aug 12, 2011 at 2:23 PM

        Don’t fret, Good Doctor. I just gave you a thumbs up.

      • 12strikes - Aug 12, 2011 at 2:52 PM

        I think my Sarcasm was lost on you! (lol)

    • halladaysbiceps - Aug 12, 2011 at 2:00 PM

      “I smell CHAMPIONSHIP!”

      And Joe Blanton smells bacon in his sleep.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Aug 12, 2011 at 2:01 PM

        HaHaHa….that was a good one.

      • wlschneider09 - Aug 12, 2011 at 5:43 PM

        Only because he sleeps with bacon under his pillow

  11. mikedi33 - Aug 12, 2011 at 2:11 PM

    Don’t forget he could be the lh dh in the ws especially since you can’t pinch run for Gload every time up.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Aug 12, 2011 at 2:14 PM

      I think the Phillies will use Mayberry Jr. in LF and Ibanez as the DH assuming they get that far.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Aug 12, 2011 at 2:16 PM

      Cust’s job is simple, he doesn’t even have to pack a glove….hit a late HR against one of the following Wilson, Kimbrel, Moto, Axeford, K-Rod, Putz, whatever right handed relief pitcher the Cards have, etc.

    • halladaysbiceps - Aug 12, 2011 at 2:17 PM

      Good point. Gload could never DH with his hip problem. As far as a DH in the WS, if the Phillies get there (I assume nothing – I am a cautious fan, not brain dead), Cust would not be my DH. That honor goes to Raul Ibanez. In those games, Ibanez DH’s and Mayberry Jr. plays left field.

  12. nomoreseasontix - Aug 12, 2011 at 2:15 PM

    You’re kidding….

  13. Phillies Homer - Aug 12, 2011 at 2:23 PM

    Only Phillies fans would generate 30+ and counting comments on a Jack Cust transaction!

    • Chris Fiorentino - Aug 12, 2011 at 2:37 PM

      Half are on how bad Gload is and the other half are about Blanton’s need for calories.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Aug 12, 2011 at 2:54 PM

        And the other half don’t make any sense whatsoever.

      • halladaysbiceps - Aug 12, 2011 at 2:58 PM

        And half of the other half are about,…..what…help me? Too many calculations, bicepts’ brain is fried….losing it…danger, Will Robinson, danger, danger!!!!

  14. emeraldcityfan - Aug 12, 2011 at 2:58 PM

    Enjoy those strikeouts. I have a buddy who is a huge Oakland A’s fan and when I told him we signed Cust in the offseason that was the advice he gave me. Normally you can deal with the strikeouts if the player actually gets on base but ole Jack wasn’t even efficient at that either. Reminded me a lot of Big Ritchie Sexton actually….

    • halladaysbiceps - Aug 12, 2011 at 3:01 PM

      I don’t think we will have to agonize over the strikeouts because this guy is just AAA depth for the Phillies.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Aug 12, 2011 at 3:16 PM

      Well, to be fair, the 4 years he played for the A’s he got on base at a .381 clip, which is pretty freaking good no matter how bad his BA was. Actually, he is like the reverse Ichiro…

      Cust 2007-2010 .247/.381/.457/.839
      Ichiro 2007-2010 .332/.375/.418/.793

      • halladaysbiceps - Aug 12, 2011 at 3:26 PM

        Chris, looking at the stats you provided and thinking more about what you said earlier that you don’t know what to make of them, yeah, I’m perplexed. It’s weird. I still don’t see him as a playoff roster guy. September callup. No more.

        Now, I just saw that Jonny Damon cleared waivers. If he wants to be a bench guy to pursue another ring, I trade for him in a heartbeat! Great hitter. I just don’t know if he would be happy with that role.

  15. b7p19 - Aug 12, 2011 at 3:05 PM

    Why do you guys have to turn everything into a Phillies post?

    • halladaysbiceps - Aug 12, 2011 at 3:09 PM

      Hahahahahahaahah!!! Good one. Don’t you love when we get called out for it when if we didn’t post there would usually be 1-3 comments per thread? It’s laughable when someone complains that there are too many Phillies comments. The team is the best in baseball and people are jealous.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Aug 12, 2011 at 3:21 PM

      If you want to see how I can turn almost any post into a Phillies post, go check out the MiLB app post… :P

      • FC - Aug 12, 2011 at 5:15 PM

        I’d rather see how you can turn almost any post into a Linda post (back in the day she was in my top 5 in Hotness!)

  16. spudchukar - Aug 12, 2011 at 3:44 PM

    Until now I was doubtful of the Phillies, primarily to a lack of offense. The Pence move increased the likelihood, but now with the addition of Cust the post-season will just be a formality.

  17. spudchukar - Aug 12, 2011 at 3:45 PM

    *Should read “primarily *due* to a lack of offense”.

  18. luckynucky - Aug 13, 2011 at 2:00 PM

    Just Power LH Bomber for the DH in possible World Series… that’s all.

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